November 28, 2014

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LCCC levy leads county campaign spending

Lorain County Community College held a rally earlier this fall to promote the benefits of Issue 2. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

SHEFFIELD TWP. — The Lorain County Community College levy narrowly passed in November, but the campaign to do so was by far the most expensive in the county, according to campaign finance reports.

The reports, the most recent of which were due Friday at the county Board of Elections, show that the college’s campaign committee, Citizens for LCCC, spent $688,235.16 to pass the levy.

Official election results show that the levy, which will generate $12 million annually to expand faculty, technology and programming at the college’s University Partnership, won by only 240 votes.

The returns showed that 28,855 voters, or 50.2 percent, voted to pass the levy, while 28,615 voters, or 49.8 percent, cast ballots against the measure.

This isn’t the first time the committee has spent heavily on a levy campaign.

In 2009, for instance, the committee spent $627,084 to pass a levy.

But heavy spending wasn’t always enough to guarantee success at the polls in November.

In the four-way race to replace retiring Avon Mayor Jim Smith, the top vote-getter, Bryan Jensen, finished third in spending.

Jensen’s campaign finance reports indicate he spent $13,744 during the entire campaign.

Dan Zegarac, who finished third, spent the most money, with a total election tab of $19,415. Fourth-place finisher Rich Summers spent $18,137 on the race.

Kevin Ward, who came in second in the Avon mayor’s race, spent $11,686, his report showed.

Meanwhile in Vermilion, which saw Mayor Eileen Bulan successfully defended her seat from her predecessor’s attempt to return to elected office, the winner was the big spender.

Bulan’s campaign spent $15,044 on the race compared to Anderson’s $6,196.

Two contentious Lorain City Council races, which saw labor split from their traditional Democratic allies, also were expensive.

Council Frank DeTillio, D-8th Ward, spent $13,216 in his effort to hold onto the seat he was appointed to earlier this year when he replaced now-county Auditor Craig Snodgrass.

But DeTillo wasn’t able to hold off independent winner Josh Thornsberry, whose campaign finance report shows his campaign spent $11,729 on the race.

In the less-expensive 4th Ward race, victor Greg Argenti spent $8,377 on his successful bid. His opponent, Democrat Dave Burgess, spent $5,408, according to his reports.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.


  • oldruss

    That $688,000 that LCCC spent is quite a bundle, and LCCC spent a similar amount on a pervious levy campaign. Where does that kind of money come from? Who are the big contributors; and what, if any, connections do they have economically with LCCC?